Welcome to the dynamic world of Russian sports! Russia, with its rich sporting culture and passionate fans, is home to a wide variety of sports that captivate the nation. From football’s fierce rivalries to ice hockey’s bone-crushing encounters, there is something for every sports enthusiast in this vast country.

In this blog post, we will dive into the top 9 most popular sports in Russia, exploring their history, impact, and why they hold such a special place in the hearts of millions. So grab your jersey and get ready for an exhilarating journey through Russia’s sporting landscape!

The people of Russia have always taken active part in sports and according to Yandex who conducted a survey have concluded that soccer is the most popular sport in the country and is widely played by the people.  The people of the country like soccer as their favourite profession as well as their favourite pass time for the people who consider the sport as a fun activity.

Some of the Other popular sports in the country are  handball,  basketball,  volleyball,  chess,  athletics and Ice Hockey. The Soviet Union or the USSR competed in the Olympics for the first time during the 1952 Olympic games.  Since then the Soviet Union or Russia has never finished A Summer Olympics season with the total number of gold medals and the medal tally following below these fourth positions.  This is the highest maid record in the history of the Olympics.

 Russia also has a history of athletes being stripped of the medals for the most number of times due to doping violations as Russian athletes have been stripped off their medals for about 51 Times.

Football (Soccer)

Football, or soccer as it is commonly known, holds an unrivaled position in the hearts of Russian sports fans. With its roots dating back to the late 19th century, football has grown into a national obsession and a source of pride for many Russians.

The Russian Premier League, founded in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, showcases some of Russia’s finest football talent. It boasts big-name clubs such as Spartak Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg, which compete fiercely for the coveted championship title each season.

One cannot talk about Russian football without mentioning international tournaments. The Russian national team has made its mark on the global stage and achieved success in competitions like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship.

Football stadiums across Russia are buzzing with energy when local teams take to the pitch. From Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, these iconic venues witness passionate fandom at its best.

Beyond professional leagues and international competitions, football plays a vital role at grassroots levels too. Thousands of youngsters participate in youth academies all over Russia, honing their skills and dreaming big.

Whether you’re cheering from home or joining the throngs of enthusiastic supporters at a stadium, one thing is certain – football unites people from all walks of life under one common passion: love for the beautiful game! So put on your favorite team’s colors and get ready to experience unparalleled excitement on Russia’s football fields!

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is one of the most beloved sports in Russia, captivating fans with its fast-paced action and thrilling moments. With a rich history and strong tradition, it’s no surprise that ice hockey has gained immense popularity in this cold nation.

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF) oversees the sport at both professional and amateur levels, ensuring its growth and development across the country. The national team has achieved great success on the international stage, winning numerous medals in Olympic Games and World Championships.

Top-tier Russian ice hockey leagues like KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) showcase some of the world’s best players, attracting large audiences to games held in impressive arenas throughout Russia. Fans eagerly support their favorite teams with passionate chants and enthusiastic cheers.

Many legendary players have emerged from Russia’s ice hockey scene, including icons such as Valeri Kharlamov, Vladislav Tretiak, Pavel Bure, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin. These stars have not only made an impact domestically but also left a lasting impression on the global ice hockey community.

Ice hockey enthusiasts can enjoy watching matches live or follow them through various media platforms. The electrifying atmosphere during games creates an unforgettable experience for fans young and old alike.

As winter freezes lakes and rivers across Russia’s vast landscape, many children lace up their skates to play street or pond hockey—a testament to how deeply ingrained this sport is within Russian culture.

In conclusion, Ice hockey holds a special place among Russians’ hearts as one of their most popular sports. Its combination of skillful playmaking, physicality, teamwork, and sheer excitement continues to captivate millions nationwide. Whether playing professionally or recreationally on frozen ponds during long winters—ice hockey remains an integral part of Russian sporting heritage!


Tennis, a sport that combines power, agility, and mental fortitude, has gained immense popularity in Russia. It is not just a game of skill but also one that captivates the audience with its intensity and unpredictability.

Russian tennis players have made their mark on both the men’s and women’s circuits. Names like Maria Sharapova, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and Anastasia Myskina have become synonymous with success in the sport. Their achievements have inspired countless young Russians to pick up a racket and pursue their own dreams of greatness.

The rise of tennis in Russia can be attributed to several factors. The country has invested heavily in developing top-notch training facilities and coaching programs for aspiring players. This commitment to nurturing talent has paid off handsomely over the years.

Russian athletes possess an innate competitive spirit that drives them to excel in any sport they undertake. Tennis is no exception – these players are known for their relentless determination on the court.

Furthermore, broadcasting networks such as Eurosport have played a crucial role in popularizing tennis by providing extensive coverage of major tournaments like Wimbledon and the US Open. This exposure allows fans across Russia to closely follow their favorite players’ journeys throughout each season.

Tennis offers an exciting blend of skillful strokes, strategic thinking, lightning-fast footwork – all accompanied by passionate cheers from spectators. The electrifying atmosphere at matches creates an unforgettable experience for both players and fans alike.

In conclusion,Tennis holds a special place among Russians as one of their most beloved sports.

Through dedication,talent,and unwavering support,the country has produced numerous champions who continue to inspire future generations.

The thrill of watching world-class tennis unfold on our screens or experiencing it live at stadiums makes this sport truly captivating.

So grab your racket,get out there,and join millions around Russia who share a passion for this exhilarating game!


Basketball has been gaining immense popularity in Russia over the years. With its fast-paced action and exciting gameplay, it has captured the hearts of many sports enthusiasts across the country.

One reason for basketball’s popularity is its success at both national and international levels. Russian players have made a name for themselves in professional leagues around the world, showcasing their talent and skill on a global stage.

Another factor that contributes to basketball’s appeal is its accessibility. Many cities in Russia have well-established basketball courts, making it easy for people of all ages to play. This not only encourages participation but also fosters a sense of community among players.

Furthermore, basketball has become a popular spectator sport in Russia. Fans flock to stadiums or tune in to watch their favorite teams compete against each other with intense rivalries creating an electrifying atmosphere.

The success of Russian teams like CSKA Moscow and Khimki Moscow Region adds fuel to the fire, inspiring young athletes who aspire to reach great heights in this sport.

As more Russian players excel internationally and more fans embrace the game, there’s no doubt that basketball will continue to grow as one of the most popular sports in Russia. Whether you’re shooting hoops on neighborhood courts or cheering from the stands, basketball offers excitement and entertainment for everyone involved


Boxing is a sport that has gained immense popularity in Russia over the years. It combines strength, skill, and strategy to create an exhilarating and intense experience for both athletes and spectators alike. The sport of boxing has produced some legendary fighters who have captivated audiences with their raw talent and determination.

Russian boxers have made a significant impact on the international stage, with several world champions hailing from the country. They are known for their fierce competitiveness and relentless training regimens. Boxing matches in Russia often draw large crowds who come to witness these incredible displays of athleticism firsthand.

One reason why boxing enjoys such widespread popularity in Russia is its accessibility. Many gyms across the country offer boxing classes for people of all ages and skill levels. This allows individuals to learn basic techniques, improve their fitness levels, or even pursue a career in professional boxing if they so desire.

In addition to being a beloved spectator sport, boxing also serves as a means of self-defense for many Russians. The discipline required by this combat sport teaches individuals how to protect themselves while also promoting physical fitness and mental toughness.

Boxing’s appeal lies not only in its thrilling nature but also in its ability to inspire dedication, perseverance, and sportsmanship among its participants. Whether it’s watching top-level fights or simply engaging in training sessions at local gyms, Russians continue to embrace this iconic sport wholeheartedly

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has gained immense popularity in Russia in recent years. This combat sport combines various martial arts disciplines, including boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. MMA fighters showcase their skills and techniques inside the octagon, captivating audiences with their power and agility.

In Russia, MMA is not just a sport; it’s a way of life for many passionate fans. The country has produced some highly skilled fighters who have excelled on the international stage. Russian fighters are known for their relentless determination and technical prowess.

One of the reasons why MMA has become so popular in Russia is its raw intensity and unpredictability. Every fight brings an element of excitement as competitors battle it out to prove their dominance.

Events such as the Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) attract large crowds and generate significant media attention. These events feature top-notch talent from around the world competing against Russian athletes on home soil.

The rise of MMA can also be attributed to the success of Russian fighters in global promotions like UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Notable names like Khabib Nurmagomedov have brought worldwide recognition to Russian fighters’ skill set while inspiring young aspiring athletes.

Moreover, MMA provides a platform for individuals to test themselves both physically and mentally. It demands discipline, perseverance, and a deep understanding of various fighting styles. Many Russians see this as an opportunity to challenge themselves beyond conventional sports boundaries.

With its growing popularity, MMA has also attracted sponsorship deals from major brands looking to tap into its enthusiastic fan base. This influx of support contributes further to the development and promotion of this dynamic sport within Russia.

Mixed Martial Arts has taken hold in Russia due to its thrilling nature, talented local fighters’ achievements on a global scale, opportunities for personal growth through physical challenges it offers participants with promoting brands recognizing its potential market value

Rugby Union

Rugby Union is gaining popularity in Russia, captivating fans with its intensity and physicality. The sport originated in England but has made its way to the hearts of many Russians. Rugby Union is a team sport played with an oval-shaped ball, where players try to score points by carrying or kicking the ball into the opponent’s goal area.

In recent years, Russian rugby teams have been making strides on both domestic and international levels. The national team has shown great potential, participating in various tournaments and improving their rankings. This growth has sparked interest among young athletes who aspire to represent their country on the rugby field.

One reason for rugby’s appeal is its inclusivity. It offers opportunities for players of different sizes and skill sets to contribute to the team’s success. Whether you’re a speedy winger or a powerful forward, there’s a position for everyone on the rugby pitch.

The physical nature of Rugby Union also attracts enthusiasts looking for thrilling contact sports. Tackles, scrums, and lineouts add excitement and adrenaline to every match. Watching these battles unfold can be an exhilarating experience that keeps spectators on the edge of their seats.

Moreover, Rugby Union encourages camaraderie among teammates while fostering respect towards opponents – values deeply rooted in Russian sports culture. The teamwork required in rugby builds strong bonds between players as they work together towards victory.

As more people discover this exciting sport, it continues to grow across Russia. Rugby clubs are welcoming new members of all ages and skill levels who want to join this challenging yet rewarding game.

With each passing year, Rugby Union gains ground as one of Russia’s most popular sports – captivating audiences with its dynamic gameplay and creating opportunities for aspiring athletes nationwide!


Handball is a fast-paced and exciting sport that has gained popularity in Russia over the years. It combines elements of basketball, football, and hockey to create a unique and dynamic game. With its origins dating back to the late 19th century in Europe, handball has evolved into one of the most popular team sports in Russia.

The sport is played with two teams of seven players each, who aim to score goals by throwing a ball into the opponent’s net. The intense nature of handball requires quick thinking, agility, and teamwork. Players must possess strong throwing skills as well as defensive abilities to block shots from their opponents.

In Russia, handball is widely followed at both the professional and amateur levels. The Russian Handball Federation oversees various leagues and tournaments throughout the country. The national team has also achieved considerable success on the international stage with multiple medal finishes in European championships.

Handball enthusiasts can often be found cheering passionately for their favorite teams during matches held at arenas across Russia. Whether it’s watching local clubs compete or supporting the national squad during major tournaments, fans embody the spirit and excitement that handball brings.

With its fast-paced gameplay and competitive nature, it’s no wonder that handball continues to grow in popularity among both athletes and spectators alike in Russia. The sport offers an exhilarating experience for all involved – from players displaying their skills on court to fans cheering them on from the stands


Volleyball is another popular sport in Russia, with a strong following and successful national teams. The country has produced some of the world’s top volleyball players who have achieved great success on both domestic and international stages.

The Russian men’s national volleyball team has consistently been a force to be reckoned with, winning multiple Olympic medals and World Championships. They are known for their powerful spikes, precise serves, and exceptional teamwork. Similarly, the Russian women’s national team has also had remarkable achievements, including numerous European Championship titles.

Volleyball is widely played at various levels across Russia, from professional leagues to local clubs and schools. It is a sport that brings communities together and fosters camaraderie among players.

In recent years, beach volleyball has also gained popularity in the country. With its stunning coastline along the Black Sea and Baltic Sea, Russia offers beautiful locations for beach volleyball tournaments that attract both local talent and international competitors.

Whether played indoors or on sandy beaches under the sun, volleyball captures the hearts of many Russians. Its fast-paced nature combined with strategic plays make it an exciting sport to watch or participate in.

In conclusion (oops!), these nine sports – football (soccer), ice hockey tennis basketball boxing mixed martial arts rugby union handball ,and volleyball – stand out as the most popular sports in Russia. Each of these disciplines boasts talented athletes who have brought glory to their nation through their dedication and skill.

Sports hold a special place in Russian society by promoting physical fitness, fostering competitive spirit,and uniting people from different walks of life.

Also check out the Most Popular Sports in Ireland.